FACT: The Godhra carnage occurred on 27 February 2002 at 8 AM. After that, the bodies of the karsevaks killed in Godhra were brought to Ahmedabad. This was necessary, because most of the killed karsevaks were from Ahmedabad and keeping the bodies in Godhra could have inflamed the situation there and Godhra was also under curfew. It would have been very inconvenient for relatives to come to Godhra which was under curfew! So, it was necessary to get the bodies out of Godhra as soon as possible.
Also, note that if the bodies had not been brought to Ahmedabad and been kept in Godhra and retaliation taken in Godhra, all Modi-haters would have cried that “Modi deliberately kept the bodies in a communally-charged Godhra so as to instigate Hindus to retaliate in Godhra and did not bring them to Ahmedabad though the relatives and victims were from Ahmedabad”. While bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad, care was taken to bring the bodies after midnight in a very somber atmosphere.
The bodies were brought to Western Ahmedabad’s isolated Sola Civil Hospital, where the Muslim population was negligible. Had the government wanted to instigate Hindus, it would have brought the bodies to Eastern Ahmedabad’s main civil hospital from where most of the killed karsevaks resided and from where it would have been ideal to instigate the violence against the Muslims. The bodies were brought at 3:30 a.m. of 28th February in a sombre atmosphere (as reported by India Today dated 18th March, 2002 and Times of India online on 28th February). The time 3:30 a.m. is very difficult to instigate riots with most people asleep and is also very inconvenient for the relatives. Had the government wanted to, it would have brought the bodies at 2 p.m. or 12 noon, which would have been convenient for relatives and easy to instigate riots. The government, thus, seems to have done 4 things right which are:
1. Bringing the bodies to Ahmedabad instead of keeping them in Godhra so as to calm the matters in Godhra and for relatives’ convenience.
2. Bringing them to Ahmedabad at 3:30 am instead of in day-time so that chances of retaliation were very low.
3. Bringing them in a sober atmosphere instead of ceremonial procession.
4. Bringing them to Western Ahmedabad’s hospital where the Muslim population was negligible instead of Eastern Ahmedabad.
The transport of these bodies was done inside five (5) trucks, and no one could see them, and it was also done from 11:30 pm – 12 midnight to 3:30 am, from Godhra to Ahmedabad per the report of the SIT- appointed and monitored by the Supreme Court.
Even after coming to Western Ahmedabad’s isolated hospital, care was taken to send the bodies to the crematoriums (those which were not cremated at the hospital itself, some had been cremated at the hospital itself) in vehicles, not visible to anyone, while this could have been done on foot as well. This shows the sincerity of the government in preventing display of the bodies. The SIT appointed by the Supreme Court has said all this in its closure report on page 63 as well. The SIT has also said that the decision to bring the bodies was a collective one, taken by many Ministers, and with knowledge and consent of officials like the then Collector of Godhra, the Police Commissioner of Ahmedabad, the DGP of Gujarat, etc.Despite this, several people have tried to spread outrageous lies that ‘the dead bodies were paraded by the Government’. The media has not told the truth of all the above facts to clarify things. As a result, many infuriated people continue to believe the lie that the bodies were ‘paraded’. Lies have also been tried to be spread that the then Collector of Godhra, Smt. Jayanti Ravi was against bringing of the bodies to Ahmedabad. The SIT report stated on page 64 that this allegation is proven to be false, Jayanti Ravi had supported bringing of bodies to Ahmedabad.
The SIT report says on page 64: “The allegation that the dead bodies were transported to Ahmedabad against the wishes of Smt. Jayanti Ravi is proved to be incorrect.”
Despite this, several people have lied on this even after the SIT report. (E.g. Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil repeated this lie on Live National TV on 10 August 2013 in a debate with BJP’s Meenakshi Lekhi on India News TV Channel in the 8-9 pm show.)
Bringing bodies to Ahmedabad did not have the slightest impact on the riots. Bodies were brought after midnight on 27 Feb i.e. at 3:30 am of 28 Feb in Western Ahmedabad’s isolated Sola hospital (as reported by weekly India Today dated 18 March 2002 and Times of India online on 28 Feb 2002)while the riots began on 28 Feb at 11 AM and took place in far-off places like Naroda Patiya and Chamanpura (Ehsan Jafri case). And what about the riots that occurred OUTSIDE Ahmedabad- in Vadodara, Rajkot and other areas? Did they also occur because bodies were brought from Ahmedabad to Godhra at 3:30 am on 28 Feb?
Far from the bodies being displayed publicly or ‘paraded’, extra care was taken by the Government to prevent display of the dead bodies. They were brought from Godhra to Ahmedabad inside closed trucks between 11:30 pm to 3:30 am, not visible to anyone. And even after that, the non-cremated bodies were taken to the crematoriums in closed vehicles, not visible to anyone outside.